I have a lot to blog, but honestly, I don't really feel like doing the details right now, so you will get a summary of our last week and 1/2. It will probably be very similar to all of yours, and may be quite boring to anyone but us, but hey, we love reading our blog books from past years, and this post will be a fun one for us to look back on.
Mary turned 6 on Dec. 23rd. I know it sounds so cliche', but I honestly and truly cannot believe or really accept that she is 6. Maybe it is because she is the oldest and I am in a phase of wanting to freeze my children right now and not let them grow up anymore. Time is going too fast. She had a very fun Birthday.
She had a party earlier in the week, but we still found some low key ways to celebrate. We went to Costco for lunch, Mary's request, and also picked up our family videos we had them convert to DVD for us. She opened presents and played with her best friend. I made her her favorite dinner, chicken enchiladas, cantaloupe, rolls and she requested caramel brownies for her Birthday cake.
We had some last minute phone calls from my siblings and we were so excited to be able to spend her Birthday evening with two of my brothers and their wives. We laughed our heads off, watched videos of Mary (tradition) and swapped Christmas presents. Our home was full of love and laughter. My brothers have never been able to visit us before, so this was a big deal to me. My brother Tyler, his wife and new baby stayed the night with us as well.
Mary had a great Birthday and we love her so much.
The next day was Christmas Eve. We drove my brother and his family to the airport (there are many perks to living near the Salt Lake Airport)and then headed for our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast. We went to an adorable, small, festive, place called Kneaders. They have some killer pastries!!!!
We spent the afternoon at the movies. Sam insisted on wearing his 3D glasses to the movie. It was hilarious to watch him.
We were planning on a nice, quiet Christmas Eve with our own little family here in our home, but we got another fun, surprise phone call from our neighbor inviting us to a Christmas Eve party with them and two other families in our ward. We were very excited not to spend Christmas Eve alone.
The party was awesome. We had a very nice and formal dinner. We have some very comical and very not shy people in our ward, so our conversation was always fun and energetic.
We played a bunch of games, had a talent show, and finished with the kids acting out the nativity. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve. They also had the NORAD Santa tracker up on their computer, so the children were watching to see where Santa was throughout the evening. It was really cute.
We came home and opened our Christmas Eve gift...new pjs. The kids also opened a very special gift from Grandma and Grandpa. A book that will be a forever keepsake in our home. It is a really cool book, but the special part is that it has a speaker and my parents and sister read the book to them. It made me cry. Very special. The kids were very giggly and squirmy, and I admit, so was I. It was so fun and magical. I LOVE the magic that kids bring. We left out the cookies and milk for Santa, got the stocking picture taken and it was off to Bed to await Santa's arrival.
Ben and I went in to check on the kids later that night and found this.
We could hear them whispering and giggling to each other. Adorable.
Christmas morning began with a family prayer a bloody nose and so much excitement that I thought the kids would burst.
We had a very special and fun Christmas morning. As a mother, it always feels good to see everyone happy and feeling special and loved. It also feels good to know that your "Christmas purchases" were a success. Sam did that for me this year. He opened one of his gifts and absolutely flipped out. It was awesome, and I felt like all of the planning, work and thought were well worth it. It was hilarious. I wish we had it on video.
Later that evening we headed for Pocatello to see my family. It was a very fun visit.
In a nutshell...
We talked, played games, worked out at the gym, made some amazing candies, downloaded all of my sisters music to my new ipod, played racquet ball ( I laughed so hard during our racquet ball game that I seriously started wheezing, oh man, good times), watched movies, and had a good time being together.
Then it was off to the Maynards home in Boise. ALL of Ben's brothers and their families were there.
Ben and I celebrated our 7 YEAR ANNIVERSARY with a snow skiing trip to Bogus Basin. We had a great time and I was able to see Ben tear it up. Truly, he is an amazing skier! I knew he was good, but I was very impressed. We really enjoyed being alone together.
The next few days in a nutshell....
yummy food, LOTS of noise, talking, laughing, teasing, wrestling, playing, ect. A trip to the Old Penitentiary (spelling) where we FROZE our buns off, but it was interesting, a trip to some hot springs, an all out crazy dance party on New Years eve, Christmas present swaps, a talent show, and some good family time. It is always bound to be an adventure when all of the Maynard boys get together. Good times.
We had a good trip, but it was so wonderful to be back home. We sold our dog the night we got home. Yup. He turned out to be a TERRIBLE chewer and he would get excited and jump on the kids. Not good. He ruined a lot of important things in our home and in our parents homes. I don't have the time to constantly be monitoring a dog who is chewing our home to pieces. We still plan on getting a dog, but we need to find a good fit for our family. The girl we got him from was not honest with us at all. We will be WAY more picky next time. He went to a wonderful home with a great family. And we were completely honest with them about Nico.
It feels really good to be back in the groove. The kids came home to all of their new toys, and were very excited. I am digging in and cleaning up all of the Christmas Decor and planning for the "spring/summer look" of our house. It is exciting for me. We made our family New Years Goals for FHE last night, and it got us all excited and looking forward to the next year. We have two major goals for our family that we have broken down into several categories and ways to accomplish them.
The two main things are: drawing closer to each other by having fun as a family, and drawing closer to the Lord by living the gospel as a family.
And..last, but not least, William is 7 months old today!
He gets bigger by the week, literally.
He is pushing 23 pounds.
He has zero desire to crawl, and somehow Ben and I find that adorable.
He laughs easily and adores Mary and Sam.
He can say BaBa for bottle.
He still LOVES baby food and is now eating #2 foods.
He had the worst diaper rash I have ever seen in a child. It has lasted almost 2 months and is a bloody raw mess. We think we have a hold on it now after using antibiotics, steroid creams and the usual butt paste.
He loves to try new sounds and really enjoys patty cake with mommy.
He is a major snuggler and likes to be around people.
He has so many nicknames, I can't list them all. I guess nicknames and chubby babies go together. Right now, his main name is "Big Mike" He got that one in Boise. It comes from the movie Blindside. All of the Maynards call him that.
William gives the best "sloppy kisses!" He will basically grab my ears, pull me in and attack my face. It is so cute.
We love our William!